WATERVILLE — Some plays were as violently basic as the offensive line pushing forward and the ball carrier following behind. Some were fancier, like inside counters and wide runs. And giving the ball to Jonathan Santiago never seems like a bad option.

All those plays, in some way or another, gained Maine Central Institute a few chunks of yardage. In contrast, Mattanawcook Academy had trouble moving forward all night.

Top-seeded MCI held the fourth-seeded Lynx to one first down and put the game away in the second half on its way to a 20-0 victory in an Eastern Class D football semifinal Friday night at Colby College’s Seaverns Field.

“We came out and we set the tone early,” MCI’s Eric Hathaway said. “We set a goal on defense, the (defensive line). We said, ‘We’re gonna win it at the line of scrimmage.’ We kept that up all night. We held each other accountable.”

MCI (9-0) advances to the regional final against No. 2 Bucksport (8-1). That game will be played at Maine Central Institute. The Huskies’ field was unavailable this weekend because of bad weather.

Santiago and Hathaway each surpassed 100 yards on the ground. Santiago finished with 137 yards on 25 carries, while Hathaway added 111 yards on 18 attempts.

The two halves were remarkably similar statistically. MCI outgained the Lynx 193-13 in the first half and 194-13 in the second half.

The Huskies scored on their first possession, as Santiago polished off an eight-play, 56-yard drive with a 14-yard run.

The Lynx (6-4) recorded their only first down with five minutes left in the first quarter on a 19-yard run by Holden Kimball. Otherwise, Mattanawcook’s longest drive was 6 yards.

“We knew that we had to have our defense step up and play big, because they’re able to move the football,” MCI Coach Tom Bertrand said. “We knew that they were a physical football team defensively, but we felt like we could move the ball on them. So we knew our defense had to step up.”

MCI scored on back-to-back possessions in the third quarter. Santiago ran one in from 9 yards, and Hathaway went over on a 2-yard dive.

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